Write On! interviews poet and fiction writer, Denise Saul.
Denise is a poet, visual artist, creative mentor and fiction writer. She is the author of two pamphlets: White Narcissi (Flipped Eye Publishing) was Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice and House Of Blue (Rack Press) was PBS Pamphlet Recommendation. She is a recipient of Poetry Book Society’s Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, and a Fellow of The Complete Works. Denise holds a PhD in Creative Writing (poetry) from the University of Roehampton. Her debut poetry collection, The Room Between Us (Pavilion Poetry) is due out in April 2022.
WO: How would you describe your writing to someone new to it?
DS: I am interested in the role of silence within spaces of trauma and speech disability. My work focuses on the theme of silence and co-silencing as a coping mechanism for poeticizing trauma and speech recovery.
WO: Can you tell us a bit about your latest book, ‘The Room Between Us’?
DS: My forthcoming debut poetry collection, The Room Between Us, tells the story of a mother’s illness and bodily experiences of aphasia, and my role as a carer.
WO: What inspired you to write in the first place, and what inspires you now?
DS: The inability to find spaces that reflected my own experiences as a carer. I am interested in world-building, or opening up new spaces of recovery for the poetic voice.
WO: The current issue of Write On! explores the theme ‘Writing With Wonder’ – Creating Stories That Fuel The Imagination. With that in mind, how do you weave wonder into your writing?
DS: By exploring the ‘what if’s’ in my writing. I tend to put my poems under pressure by letting the spaces or gaps inside and around the poem converse with the poem itself.
WO: What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writer?
DS: Read about what you do not know. Find inspiration from unknown territories or within spaces of taboo. If you are an emerging poet, do not confine yourself to reading only poetry.
WO: Question from Twitter user: @lisalovesbooksx –What are common writing traps for aspiring authors?
DS: Being too self-critical of the final creative product before the editing stage has even started. Do not become the ‘saboteur’ of your own creative process.
WO: Can you tell us anything about future projects?
DS: I have just finished editing my children’s fiction work. I am also currently focusing on essays about nature writing and caregiving.
WO: Lastly, if you could choose one fictional animal/creature to be a pet or companion, who would it be and why?
DS:For poetry, it would be John Keats’ nightingale in Ode To A Nightingale. Listening to birdsong is a reminder of all the bodily senses that one can use in creative writing.
You can find out more about Denise Saul here: denisesaul.co.uk and connect with her on Twitter: @DeniseSaul. The Room Between Us is available to buy from Pavilion Poetry, in April 2022.
Read about what you do not know. Find inspiration from unknown territories or within spaces of taboo. If you are an emerging poet, do not confine yourself to reading only poetry.